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Thread started 09/07/21 10:17pm

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Sam ‘Bam’ Cunningham, Hall of Fame USC player who helped integrate college football, dies at 71

Sam “Bam” Cunningham, the star USC running back whom many people praise for helping integrate college football in the early 1970s, died Tuesday at the age of 71.

Cunningham, who was enshrined in the College Football and New England Patriots halls of fame in 2010, is perhaps best known for his two-touchdown performance against the University of Alabama in 1970, when the integrated Trojans trounced the all-white Crimson Tide 42-21 in Birmingham.

The Trojans’ victory at Legion Field, a stadium located in a city known for antipathy toward African Americans and some of the darkest moments of the civil rights movement, made the achievement over legendary Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant an even more heroic feat.


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